Succeeding with Mobile Ads

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Succeeding with Mobile Ads

This article was originally published on the TextNow Engineering Blog.

For most developers, there comes a time when they need to evaluate theirmonetization approach and decide whether having in-app advertisements is theright fit for their app. If the answer is yes, and they want to move forwardwith ads, the next step is to evaluate what advertising mediation platformmakes sense for them to integrate.

What is an Ad Mediation Platform?

An ad mediation platform, simplifies advertising by allowingpublishers to integrate with a variety of ad networks or demand-sideplatforms (DSP) to maximize eCPM. These ad providers are placed on a waterfall,and will serve ads according to various thresholds you set. The greatestbenefit of using a mediator is that you only have to integrate any ad unitonce. Adding a new ad provider is as easy as adding a new SDK to your build.gradle or Podfile,and then adding adapter files. The mediation SDK will then use reflection to invoke our adapter files, which in turninvoke its respective ad SDK to display the ad.

Choosing which specific platform to use will depend on many factors suchas: platform support (iOS, Android, Unity), ad unit type availability (banner,interstitial, video), community support, and open-sourcing of client-side code.Some popular platforms include: MoPub, AerServFyber,and AdMob.

Choosing MoPub

We decided to use MoPub here at TextNow due to its ease of integration, widespread adnetwork support, and support for JS tags. So far our experience has been quite positive.

Adding new providers is straightforward on the platform, and we alsoenjoy the flexibility to add a new ad network instantly via JS Tags. AlthoughJS tags are dissuaded by MoPub for performance andtracking reasons, we’ve had success with them. Sometimes doing a new clientrelease in order to add a new ad provider takes too long or just isn’t worththe hassle when a JS tag works just as well.

MoPub to the Rescue

The MoPub dashboard can effectively act asfeature-toggling mechanism for specific ad SDKs, which is especially useful fortroubleshooting and resolving ad issues. This feature has saved us in the pastwhen we released a client with a broken ads integration for a specific SDK. Wesaw that the number of crashes had spiked in Crashlytics, andthe reason was that an ad related activity was removed from theAndroidManifest.xml by accident. To stop our Android app from crashing, wechanged our MoPub line item for that specific ad provider to not trafficads to that version of our app. It immediately stopped the crashing while weprepared for a hot-fix.


Using an ad mediation platform to handle advertisements helped usmaximize revenue and provided us more time to focus on core features of ourapp. It has made managing our ads a much less painful task. The combinationbetween A/B testing ad units and minimizing opportunity cost from unfilled adslots has resulted in one of the most successful quarters for TextNow to-date.


Michael YeMichael Ye
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Michael Ye is a developer at TextNow.

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